Dan DiDio reveals weekly series master plan and a date to watch for!
Back in March, DC Comics confirmed that this year would be a year in which it launched not one, not two, but three weekly comic book series upon the direct market which will naturally overlap. The first of which, "Batman Eternal", has already begun under writers Scott Synder, Tim Seely, John Layman, Ray Fawkes, and James Tryion IV with Jason Fabok, Dustin Nguyen, Andy Clarke and Trevor McCarthy on art. The next, "Future's End" (or "New 52: Future's End") begins in May under the writing team of Jeff Lemire, Dan Jurgens, Keith Giffen and Brian Azzarello which centers on depicting the "New 52" universe five years in the future that involves some time flung characters (Firestorm, the Frankenstein Monster, and the Terry McGinnis version of Batman from the year 2041) to sort out. The company will once again be dusting off their "3D motion covers" for this one.
The third weekly series was slated for October and has been officially titled "World's End" (or "Earth 2: World's End). It will be written by Tom Taylor ("Earth 2"), Paul Levitz ("World's Finest"), Daniel H. Wilson, Marguerite Bennet, and Mike Johnson. The round table of artists will be Eddy Barrows, Jorge Jimenez, Stephen Segovia, Paulo Siqueira, and Tyler Kirkham. The weekly series will run for six months, and as usual, "the ramifications from the story will affect the universe for years to come," according to Dan DiDio. Remember, the purpose of crossover events is to be shocking and important, not good. As such, expect a lot of angst, violence, and unintentionally offensive things in the "Earth 2" universe, which is apart from the normal "New 52" universe which is apart from the DC Universe before September 2011.
Furthermore, Dan DiDio confirmed that all three weekly series - "Batman Eternal", "New 52: Future's End", and "Earth 2: World's End" - would all end (or in the case of "Batman Eternal", go on a "brief hiatus") in March 2015. This has naturally led to speculation (at least by Newsarama) as to what big thing DC Comics has planned for April 2015. Historically, it could be another "Crisis", a crossover event which shatters universe, kills characters, drives retailers mad and earns a lot of short term cash. Sales for most DC Comics have gone back to pre-"New 52" levels and so something is needed to spike them. Grant Morrison wrote a "Final Crisis" in 2009, but nothing is truly "final" in comics books. The last weekly comic book series DC Comics had, in fact, was "Countdown to Final Crisis" from 2007-2008, which ended with middling sales. This plan is either awfully ambitious or insane on a scale which could dip into masochism by the end of the year's sales. Only time will tell.
DC Comics celebrates Batman's anniversary via variant cover scheme!
It may have been hard to notice, but 2014 is technically the 75th anniversary of the creation of Batman by Bob Kane and Bill Finger in 1939. Normally this may be overlooked since DC Comics' and Warner Brothers' media adaptations seem to begin and end with the Dark Knight, but an anniversary means kicking things into overdrive. While Superman only got one 75th anniversary animated short last year, Batman already has two. Now, DC Comics seeks to elevate Batman to the level of Wolverine and Darth Vader by having him on covers to comics he doesn't actually appear in via their variant cover scheme.
Beginning in July, 21 of DC Comics' titles will feature variant Batman covers by iconic artists (such as Jim Steranko, Dan Jurgens and Cliff Chiang). It is expected to continue further throughout the year for the character that apparently nobody can get enough of and who never peaks in popularity.
"Batman: Assault on Arkham" bridges the gap between video games and DVD's!
A trailer for the next "DC Universe animated feature" has emerged online, now that "Batman: Son of Batman" is on sale. It is called "Batman: Assault on Arkham" and will hit store shelves in "fall 2014". The cast includes returning stars Kevin Conroy as Batman and C.C.H. Pounder as Amanda Waller, and features a plot involving the Suicide Squad infiltrating the infamous asylum as well as a plot by the Joker. The Squad seem to consist of Harley Quinn, Deadshot, Captain Boomerang, Killer Frost, and King Shark.
The animated feature is supposedly set in the continuity of the "Arkham" series of Batman games which have proven to be very popular with the gaming community for years. It perhaps dawned on DC Entertainment that more people in Wichita rented the latest "Batman: Arkham" game than bought any of their comic books last month alone. At any rate, it reveals more corporate synergy as well as continues the trend of delivering on all things Batman.